Making Homemade Ice Cream

Although it was FREEZING outside, we decided to create our own ice cream!

Although it was FREEZING outside, we decided to create our own ice cream!

This activity required A LOT of materials in order to complete in a group setting.

This activity required A LOT of materials in order to complete it in a group setting.

Our Material List:

  • gallon bags
  • sandwich bags
  • sugar
  • salt (rock salt or ice cream salt work great)
  • half & half
  • vanilla (I would try some powdered chocolate next time also)
  • ice
  • toppings (we used blueberries, strawberries, and sprinkles)
  • cups and spoons
  • towels
  • gloves (since we are dealing with the possibility of touching food)
  • measuring cups (1 cup, 1/2 cup, TBSP, 1/2 tsp.)
  • tray (to put wet materials on)
  • grocery bags (I used these when the gallon bags ripped from all of the shaking going on)
  • book on making ice cream

SONY DSCFirst we read “Let’s Find Out About Ice Cream” by Mary Ebeltoft Reid.  The kids were so excited about getting started with our activity, that I actually read half and then skimmed half of this book.  I left the book on the table and the kids took turns looking through the pages.  The book goes through the process of how ice cream is made complete with photographs and diagrams.

I also wrote down the ingredients on a cheat sheet, so I didn’t have to remember them with all of the excitement.  At this point, I was very hands on, so I didn’t take any pictures.  What we did was put the 1 cup of half & half, 1/2 tsp. of vanilla, and 2 TBSPs of sugar in a sandwich bag.  I double bagged it.  In the gallon bag, I added ice and about 1/2 of salt (the kids added the ingredients).  Then it was shaking time!

The kids all took a turn shaking the bag.

The kids all took a turn shaking the bag.  Here is where we experienced some issues.  When I made this at home the night before, it took about five minutes of solid shaking to solidify.  This was with me and my husband and my daughter, vigorously shaking the bag.  With the kids taking turns, the bag ended up with too much down time and after five minutes or so, the ice cream was still a tad liquid-y.  The kids voted to just eat it anyways, because they were too excited and couldn’t wait anymore.  So, I carefully opened up the inner bag and scooped out the ice cream into the children’s bowls.

I let the kids do their own toppings.

Then the kids added their own toppings.

They loved the taste of the semi-solid ice cream!  Some  would have preferred chocolate, so that is way next time I would try to add some in a batch.

They loved the taste of the semi-solid ice cream! Some would have preferred chocolate, so that is why next time I would try to add some in a batch.

I made a second batch while the kids enjoyed their ice cream and wrote their reflections in their science journals.  This part was really fun! It turned into an ice cream social!  The second batch turned out thicker.  It doesn't turn out as thick as store-bought ice cream, but it is still really tasty and fun to make.

I made a second batch while the kids enjoyed their ice cream and wrote their reflections in their science journals. This part was really fun! It turned into an ice cream social! The second batch turned out thicker. It doesn’t turn out as thick as store-bought ice cream, but it is still really tasty and fun to make.

Overall, this activity was really fun and delicious.  Here are a couple of notes:

  • The clean up and activity would be WAY easier if it is done outside.
  • The salt melts the ice which creates very salty water, so be VERY careful when getting the ice cream out of the inside bag because you don’t want it to touch the salt water or your hands if they have touched the salt water.
  • Although the sandwich bag is doubled bagged, and in a gallon bag, it ripped through.  I added grocery bag after grocery bag, so make sure to have some back-ups because the kids loved shaking the bags.  I also had towels to put around them so their hands wouldn’t get too cold.
  • I wanted the kids to be able to mix the ingredients together, so I tried using a bowl and then poured it into the sandwich bag.  If you choose to do this, make sure that you pour all of the sugar into the bag because it tends to stick to the bottom of the bowl.

I will definitely do this activity again!! Enjoy!!

~Miss Jenny

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